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Poster: cooperway4 Date: Jan 7, 2011 2:46am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Please remove

Wait a minute. How again was it a work for hire if it was paid for by a grant from a non-profit?

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Poster: Video-Cellar Date: Jan 7, 2011 3:10am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Please remove

In the way that:

A "work made for hire" is— (1) a work prepared by an employee within the scope of his or her employment; or (2) a work specially ordered or commissioned for use as a contribution to a collective work, as a part of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, as a translation, as a supplementary work, as a compilation, as an instructional text, as a test, as answer material for a test, or as an atlas, if the parties expressly agree in a written instrument signed by them that the work shall be considered a work made for hire.
17 USC §101

Considering the film makers set up a corporation to "own" their contributions to the film, I think we can consider it meeting the requirements of the second condition.

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Poster: Video-Cellar Date: Jan 7, 2011 3:25am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Please remove

And here's a "recordation" of one of those agreements

The brother who fell to earth : a.k.a. Brother from another planet /...
Type of Work: Recorded Document
Document Number: V3475D695
Date of Recordation: 2001-10-26
Entire Copyright Document: V3475 D695 P1
Date of Execution: as of 25Aug83
Title: The brother who fell to earth : a.k.a. Brother from another planet / Screenplay.
Notes: Assignment.
Party 1: John Sayles.
Party 2: A Train Films, Inc.

Variant title: Brother from another planet
Names: Sayles, John
A Train Films, Inc.

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Poster: cooperway4 Date: Jan 7, 2011 3:45am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Please remove

The Brother who fell to earth;
Type of Work: Recorded Document
Document Number: V2037P799
Date of Recordation: 1983-12-27
Entire Copyright Document: V2037P799-802
Date of Execution: 16Sep83; 15Dec83
Title: The Brother who fell to earth; motion picture.
Notes: Security agreenment (motion picture and copyright)
Party 1: A-Train Films.
Party 2: Screen Actors Guild, Inc.

so shouldn't it have said copyright Screen Actors Guild, Inc.?

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Poster: Video-Cellar Date: Jan 7, 2011 4:21am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Please remove

No, since that document records that the production company has placed its completion security bond with SAG, I don't think so. That is not a transfer of copyright, hence the "Security Agreement" bit and not the "Assignment" bit as on the other one.

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Poster: cooperway4 Date: Jan 7, 2011 3:47am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Please remove

I mean I really, really find it hard to believe that people have been claiming this movie is public domain for over 25 years because of an invalid copyright notice without much objection, seeing as how the creator has been actively involved with restorations of it, if that wasn't the case.

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Poster: Video-Cellar Date: Jan 7, 2011 4:00am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Please remove

I am really finding it hard to find evidence of widespread commercial use of this film without question. I can only find:

These VHS releases -
Key Video (1986, discontinued)
Fox Home Video (1990, discontinued)
UAV (1999, discontinued)

These DVD versions -
UAV (2001, Discontinued)
MGM Home Entertainment (2003, Authorised restoration. In print)
Guillotine Films (2003, Discontinued)
Digital 1 Stop (2004, Discontinued)
EastWest DVD (2007, Discontinued)

Amazon also has user uploaded "createspace" Made On Demand DVD-Rs available from "Synergy Entertainment" and "Artflix".

As most of these labels are still in business, one could easily assume that they had somehow learned of the copyright status of the film.